Re: affordable housing
From: Sharon Villines (
Date: Mon, 20 Jan 2020 17:17:12 -0800 (PST)
> Ty Albright <tmalbright [at]>

> Cash rules - cash is king - sorry - just the way the world works despite all
> best intentions or effort.  Call it unjust - but this does not change
> reality.

I wonder about the practice in Chinese communities in NYC of a group loaning 
their money to one person to build a business. Then that person pays back the 
money so the second person can start a business. Thus there are two people 
loaning to the central fund. The process goes faster as more businesses are 
established. Eventually everyone is established.

That kind of thinking might bring up some solutions. 

I think the city — unless it is destitute — is unlikely to be doable location. 
But perhaps if the city is giving away buildings to get them back on the tax 
rolls. But if they are habitable, a developer will snap them up with cash.

The issue with various income levels is how wide the spread can go comfortably. 
A friend has been teaching in a British school in Bejing. Her daughter was a 
student there and mixing with extremely wealthy Chinese families. They loved 
her daughter and invited her on trips and to parties, etc. The daughter loved 
it, but her expectations were going in a direction that would cause a lot of 
conflict when she was old enough to understand that she would never be “equal” 
in that situation. She also didn’t not like the values they were teaching her 
daughter. Sort of like we are wealthy because we are better than "those people.”

Education is another issue. I’m sure (but have not confirmed) that everyone 
here has graduated from college and many have graduate school or some kind of 
post graduate professional education. Some people with college degrees are 
uncomfortable with me having been a professor. I’ve learned just to not talk 
about it. But that cuts off 25 years of my life. How would people without 
college educations feel in that mix? 

My son and his wife did not attend college and live in the same neighborhood 
where they grew up. They have lots of  friends, all from high school, and they 
have birthday parties or cookouts every weekend. Same crowd. They don’t read 
newspapers or books. Or even watch the news on TV. With their friends it would 
be wonderful for them to have a cohousing community (though they sort of have 
one now) but not if it were peopled by college graduates or professionals like 
psychiatrists and economists. The college graduates would welcome them but they 
 wouldn’t welcome the college graduates. 

If the stretch was comfortable, cohousing communities would be more 
socioeconomically diverse. One of the factors that led the NYTimes to endorse 
Elizabeth Warren and Amy Klobuchar is that they “feel” lower middle class. They 
have kept the sensibilities and understand them. Other candidates have not. It 
means something to people.

Sharon Villines, Historic Takoma Park, Washington DC 
Where all roads lead to Casablanca

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